Wordy Wednesdays – “A Fall of Moondust” by Arthur C. Clarke
A tour bus glides peacefully over the dust that covers much of the moon. Twenty-two passengers, the driver, and a tour guide are on board.
How do you save them when a moonquake disturbs the dust and buries the bus fifteen meters down?
And you’re on a strict time-limit, too.
They’ll run out of air, or water, or food. And Clarke knows how to make these things clear. Even better, he knows how to keep the tension high, stacking problems upon problems, foreshadowing some problems when others are solved.
Of course, some of the passengers on the tour bus have secrets, on top of which is the constant threat that they’ll start to go insane with desperation and open a hatch – letting moondust pour in and all the oxygen pour out.
Even in the last 30 pages, a new twist is thrown in. Each potential disaster builds on the last in a logical way.
Clarke keeps the tension high, the characters interesting, and the science relevant. This is one of the better hard science fiction books I’ve read in a while.